Congratulations to St Ambrose, Widnes who have been awarded the Disabled Friendly Church Award for the second time after successfully being recognised as a Disabled Friendly Church for the last 3 years.
The church has demonstrated their continuing commitment to the full inclusion of disabled people in the life of their church. Keith Steen from the diocesan Disability Action Group presented the award in recognition of the church’s achievements to churchwarden, David Steadman.
Ruth Reed, Diocesan Disability officer and Hannah Lewis Diocesan Pioneer Minister with the Deaf Community spoke at the service and enjoyed their welcome by the congregation. The congregation includes people in wheelchairs, people with learning disabilities and people with hidden disabilities, a visible sign of the diverse Kingdom of God and of the welcome the church community offers to all.
Ruth asked “Did Jesus ever have a hole in his boat, but keep on sailing because he knew it wouldn’t sink? People were more important than the boat. It is always difficult to find a balance between mission and maintenance and if Jesus’ boat had sunk on the Sea of Galilee – he needed the vessel to reach people – it needed to be safe and secure, but not perfect."
In the same way, Disabled Friendly Churches need to be safe and secure places for disabled people, with a good attitude and a true welcome but do not need to have perfect facilities. Can you provide this? If so why not apply for the Disabled Friendly Church Award. It is a relatively simple process and results in a logo you can display on the church and on your website and informs the community you serve that you are proactively welcoming to all disabled people and their families. It challenges the perception people may have about the church and disability.